How to Spend a Weekend in Groningen
Sometimes you just need to get away. Am I right? We've stayed in our sleepy town for a few weeks in a row and it was time to take a mini-vacation/getaway. Some of you might be thinking that a few weekends at home is fine and we just sound like a bunch of restless twenty somethings. Maybe, maybe. For us, living in Europe was something we had only dreamt up and never thought it would be a reality. Now that we live here, we've decided that no time can be wasted. And any chance to take a weekend trip should be taken advantage of. No matter how big or small.
So, last weekend, we decided to "seize the day[s]", and hop on the train to one of our favorite countries, the Netherlands. The weather was perfect and we had no agenda, but just to sleep-in, relax, and eat good food. And that we did.
We stayed at the trendiest, chicest hotel near the city center. Not sure if it's the Dutch's sassy style or what, but this hotel had so much personality. From beautiful murals in every direction to colorful lamps hanging in the dining space, Apollo Hotel didn't skimp on details one bit. We were greeted by the most lovely of staff that gave us plenty of ideas on what to do in the city. I always enjoy seeing a native beam about their town with pride.
Every thing was comfortable, clean, and welcoming. Part of me was tempted to stay in the hotel all day and cozy up on one of the fluffy couches with a book. It was that nice of a space. However, after having a delicious and hearty breakfast (we both drank too many cappuccinos and ate too much cinnamon bread -- no regrets here), we wandered into the city to do some exploring and more eating.
We spent the day admiring the unique architecture, people watching, and grabbing coffee at every little café we could find. If you've read my blog before, than you know how much Michael loves coffee and simply can't say "no" -- even after his 8th cup of the day. It was a day with no agenda or plan and I loved it. There were times I was tempted to get out my phone and look-up "best restaurant" or "things to do in Groningen", but Michael reminded me that stumbling upon things is a much greater way to experience a city. He was right indeed.
We had lunch at Feliz Fine Food near the city center. It was a cozy atmosphere with an extremely friendly staff. One of the perks of going to Holland is that everyone speaks English. No exaggeration. So, it was our pleasure to chat it up with the waiter and ask for his personal recommendations and they did not disappoint. One of the biggest things I miss out on with the language barrier in Germany is having small talk with people. Whether it be the the waiter at a restaurant, the cute lady at the grocery store, or the people that are on the same gym schedule as me, it's hard to say much of anything to them. For now, our interaction is the typical "Moin!", *smile*, and an over excited "Tschüss!". Granted, with time that'll change and with many, many more German lessons.
The rest of the weekend included more coffee shopping hopping, visiting some cute stores like this one, and wandering the streets. Having a weekend away with Michael was just what I needed. There is something about getting out of town, even if it's just going to a city 45 minutes away.
Until next time!